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Surviving Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week! Bring on the turkey! Well, what about the vegans? Okay, bring on the stuffing! What about the people on the Paleo diet? FINE….Bring on the pumpkin pie! What about the people that don’t eat sugar! Forget it! Let’s just go out for Chinese…..but then there’s the MSG!

Please step away from the turkey leg! Everybody take a deep breath; I’ve got you covered!

1. If you are the person who doesn’t eat, well, whatever you don’t eat, I hate to tell you, but that’s you’re issue, and if you are going to be a guest in someone’s home, you need to deal with it! I don’t eat meat, but I don’t go to my sister’s house in a fake fur coat dripping in fake blood and a sign that reads, “turkey killer!” I simply offer to bring a dish (or two) of things that I know I will eat and I skip the bird. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the host if there is meat in the stuffing, or butter on the potatoes, etc., but it’s not acceptable to turn up your nose at everything you don’t agree with. It’s Thanksgiving, you know what’s going to be on the menu. DEAL WITH IT!

2. Indulge and imbibe (a little). It’s just one day, so go ahead and have a slice or two of pie. Have an extra scoop of mashed potatoes. If you completely deprive yourself you will end up bingeing. Now notice I said (a little) here. You have to be strategic. If you’re going to go all out on the pie, skip the dinner rolls. Besides, you can have dinner rolls whenever, but grammy’s homemade pumpkin pie may only come around once a year!

3. Keep the rest of the day the same. People will skip breakfast and lunch so they can chow down come turkey time. Resist the urge! By eating a normal breakfast and lunch, you will be able to stabilize your blood sugar, keep your metabolism on track, and eat smart once the dinner bell rings.

4. Tame you emotions. Remember that nostalgia is sometimes what causes you to overeat on Thanksgiving. Grammy’s above-mentioned-pie for example, probably has some good memories attached to it. So be sure you are eating it because you really want it, it tastes good, and you have room in your belly for it, not because it transports you back to 1972!

5. Put your foot down on the food pushers. I hate you people! Seriously. Stop. When I say I don’t want anymore, or I couldn’t eat another bite, it’s for one of two reasons, either…I’m really full and I couldn’t eat another bite, or, your food sucks and I don’t want to hurt your feelings. Either way, I’m done, so leave me alone! People will eat more to “save face,” I say, “save butt!” Because it’s not your Aunt Matilda who is going to have to go to the gym on Black Friday to work off the extra green bean casserole that she guilted you into eating!

Hopefully, this will help you enjoy your Thanksgiving, without derailing all the healthy eating you’ve been doing. But…if for some reason you do overindulge, do not despair…just read below.

1. Get back on track starting Friday morning. EAT BREAKFAST! DO NOT skip breakfast because you ate too much on Thursday night. You need to get your body back on its normal schedule as quickly as possible. Eat something light (if your stomach is upset) but eat at your normal time and eat enough to carry you through the morning.

2. Get a little exercise in. Even if it’s just walking the Black Friday sales at the mall. Moving your body will help you ditch the sluggish feeling that overeating can cause.

3. And finally, give yourself a break. It is ONE DAY people! One day is not going to do you in. As long as you keep it to just one day. Do not eat leftover pie every day for breakfast for a week, do not make stuffing sandwiches for lunch every day! Eat it all on Thanksgiving and let it go!

By the way, since we’re giving thanks, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for reading my blog, sharing this journey with me, and supporting me along the way. It’s a pleasure to write for you!

So, until next time,

Veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com

http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com

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Chillax

Anyone feeling stressed right now? It’s okay, you can raise your hand, I can’t see you from over here behind my computer! I’m betting a lot of you are reading this blog in between bites of lunch at your desk, in between running the kids to their sporting events, in between cleaning the house, picking up the dry cleaning, taking the dog to the groomer, doing the laundry, etc., etc., etc!

STOP THE RIDE…I WANT TO GET OFF!!!!!

We all need to chill out and relax, or, chillax! We are all doing more than we can possibly do. Multitasking has become a horrible way of life in which we try to cram as many things in as we can, while not enjoying anything that we’re doing! Now, I realize that we all can’t just stop doing the things we need to do, and I know that finding time to relax can, in itself, cause you stress, so I’d like to share with you a few easy tips that you can incorporate in your crazy life! If you try any of these, please comment and let me know how it worked out for you!

1. Carve out a few minutes for yourself every day. Can you get up just 15 minutes earlier in the morning? Use that time to have a cup of green tea, breathe deeply for a few minutes, and run through your day in your head, mentally preparing yourself, and enjoying a few moments of quiet time. Not a morning person? Turn the TV off a half hour before bed and use that time to relax before drifting off to sleep. BONUS…turning off electronics before bed actually helps you get better sleep!

2. Learn to say NO. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite here, because I’m the woman who can’t say no! I’m worse than a “yes” woman, I’m a “before you even ask me woman!” I can’t say no and I can’t stop volunteering for everything! But by saying yes to one thing, we are saying no to something else! When you say yes to helping your friend move, you are saying no to a relaxing afternoon in your garden. When you say yes to working late, you are saying no to a dinner at home with your family, when you say yes to babysitting, you are saying no to date night with your spouse. You get the point! Here’s a great way to say no. When someone asks you for a favor that you don’t want to do, just say, “I’m sorry, I’m already booked.” And stop there! No over-explaining, no apologizing for a half hour, just say you are booked and move on. Then, honor the time that you have carved out by doing something just for you!

3. Get organized! Nothing is more frustrating than spending time you don’t have looking for your keys, trying to find your shopping list, looking for your glasses. Get in the habit of finding a “home” for everything, and always putting items back in their home after each use. Put a basket by the front door for keys and other items that you use daily, keep often-used items in the front of shelves and closets, set up a docking station for all your electronic items. Invest in a few inexpensive items to help keep you organized. Buy a laundry basket with separate slots for whites, darks, and colored clothing; pre sorting will save you time on laundry day! Invest in a good filing system for yourself, it doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that works for you. Get rid of unnecessary clutter and enjoy more open space.

Want more tips and inspiration? Like me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thecaringcoachingcenter, or follow me on Twitter @caringcoaching

And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

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You Are Going to Die

Too harsh? Here’s the reality of it, we are all going to die. Time is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, famous or infamous, if you’re a stay at home mom, a corporate executive, a kid in high school, we all get the same 24 hours in a day…it’s how we choose to spend our time that’s important.

“If only I had more time…” to do what? We have the same amount of time as Einstein, Beethoven, DaVinci, Oprah, and the Pope! So, what are you doing with your 24 hours a day?

Though we all get the same number of hours in a day, we don’t all get the same number of days. That’s why it’s so important to make the days count. Now, I’m a realist, I get the old adage that “no one dies wishing they had spent more time in the office”, blah, blah, blah crap, but I also know that I need to earn a living, and sometimes, my job requires a lot of extra time that could be spent doing something else. I get that not everyone has the luxury of quitting their job and running off to live in the mountains and write the next great American novel. I get that, I truly do. But what I am suggesting  is that while you’re doing the things that you need to do, that you also pay attention to your life.

Think about the amount of time you spend each day doing things. Eating, sleeping, working, playing. I bet there’s a lot less of that last one for most of us! When you think about your life, think of the moments that have really inspired you or captured you in some way. Now, try to recreate those moments as often as you can.

Maybe you can’t afford to take an extravagant vacation to Hawaii, but can you afford to go to the park and spend some time looking up at the trees? Maybe you can’t afford to throw yourself a 30th birthday bash every year, but can you have a few of your closest friends over to celebrate when you came into the world? Here’s a news flash…the lives and memories we create have a lot less to do with the where, how, and how much, and a lot more to do with the who, why, and how we feel.

I remember many years ago when I was in high school many years ago…I’m old…it was Christmas Eve. My high school sweetheart and I were broke. Too broke to buy presents for each other, too broke to go out to eat. He had $6 in his pocket and he used it to put some gas in his car. He drove me to a house in the next neighborhood that went all out on the decorations. The house was so lit up that I thought you could see it from space. We stood there in the cold for half an hour just staring at the lights, holding hands, and talking about what we hoped the next year would bring.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday, and the moment didn’t cost a dime! Sometimes I think, “why don’t you make more of those moments for yourself, time is ticking away!”

You are going to die. But before you do, you’re going to be given a life…LIVE IT! Do things for others, do things for yourself, be grateful for what you have, work for what you don’t have but need, stop taking everything so seriously, put down the electronics and talk to your kids, stop trying to “keep up with the Joneses..no one knows who the damn Joneses are anyway!”

And above all, be good to yourself, and until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen 

Interested in how you can live your best life? Visit our website, http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com to find out how you can book your free, no-obligation, 50-minute health history consultation today!

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Your Own Personal Healthcare Reform

I spent this past week researching healthcare reform for employees at my work and I realized just how confusing it it. Then I started to think that we spend so much time, money, and effort on coming up with ways to fix what’s already wrong, instead of putting our energy into taking care of ourselves properly in the first place.

We are not actually in the business of “healthcare” we are in the business of “sickcare!”

It’s time to take back control of our own health. So below, are a few simple steps you can take for your own personal healthcare reform.

And, until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Adding more vegetables to your diet is the single best thing you can do for your health! Don’t want to spend a small fortune on the fresh stuff? Frozen and canned are fine. If buying canned, try to buy low sodium versions, or, rinse your canned veggies to wash away some of the added sodium.

2. Stop eating processed foods. Stop eating foods with ingredients i.e. chemicals that you can’t pronounce. If you must eat packaged foods, stick to foods that have 5 ingredients or less, and always try to buy products with ingredients that you can identify. Remember, if you can’t identify it, your digestive system can’t either!

3. Please step away from the sugar! Americans are eating 200% more sugar today than they did even 50 years ago. Sugar is in everything! Manufacturers sneak it into the most unlikely products, like salad dressing and bread, so we eat more than we think we do, in addition to the white refined sugar that we use in our coffee and tea. Craving something sweet? Try natural sweeteners like agave and honey, but cut back on that too! Everything in moderation, and that includes the healthy stuff.

4. Watch your portion sizes. Even the healthiest foods have calories, so watch your portion sizing. An serving of cheese is about the size of your thumb, a serving of protein, the palm of your hand or roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. A serving size of pasta is just one cup, or about the size of a tennis ball. Still hungry after you meal? Finish with a salad to curb your appetite and sneak in another serving or two of vegetables. 

5. Get enough rest. Americans are sleep-deprived. See those zombies walking around every day? No, it’s not a new episode of the Walking Dead, it’s millions of people who aren’t getting enough rest. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night. Have trouble sleeping? Power down electronic devices at least an hour before bed. Establish a bedtime routine each night (that will signal your body that it’s time to go to sleep) and go to sleep and wake the same time each night/morning.

6. Watch your negative self-talk. Studies have shown that your physical body reacts to everything it sees and hears, and that includes self-talk. When you constantly fill your head with negative thoughts and negative talk (especially negative self-talk) your body responds in the way of body aches, decreased immunity = think more colds and flu, and digestive issues. Get into the habit of speaking as kindly about yourself as you would about others. The conversation you have about yourself is the single most important conversation you will ever have.

7. Move your butt…and take the rest of your body with you! Regular exercise cannot be promoted enough! Get out and walk, go for a run if that’s your thing, try yoga, or martial arts, ride a bike. Whatever you decide, just find something you like and get out and do it. As the winter months approach, people’s exercise routines tend to drop off dramatically. Try yoga at home, pop in an exercise DVD that you enjoy, go to the mall and walk on a rainy day. Just find an activity and aim to engage in it at least 30 minutes, 3 times each week.

8. Keep stress in check. I know this is easier said than done, but stress can do a number on you both physically, and mentally. When faced with a stressful situation, remember to breathe, if you can, step away from the situation; take a walk or find a quiet place to sit for a few minutes. Drink a glass of water, get outside and get some fresh air. Avoid common behaviors like reaching for a cigarette or eating a pint of ice cream, which will only make things worse. If you’re faced with a long-term stressful situation, like a family member’s illness or a stressful situation at work from which you can’t escape, be sure to take extra care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for someone to talk to if you need it.

9. Curb your caffeine intake. I used to be addicted to coffee. ADDICTED! I never thought I could give it up, but one day, I did. I went cold turkey and kicked the java habit! The first few days were rough, I’m not going to lie, but once I get the caffeine out of my system, I felt so much better. Caffeine is a stimulant; it’s also a diuretic. Caffeine can make you jittery, knock your nervous system out of whack, and cause you to become dehydrated. Looking for a natural boost? Try maca powder in your smoothie or a little on your morning oatmeal. It’s a natural powerhouse that will give you a boost of energy. Bananas are another great source of natural energy, and they’re loaded with potassium too! And if you aren’t eating enough good, healthy foods to get you all the natural energy you need, consider taking a vitamin supplement to boost energy levels.

10. Cut yourself a break. No one is perfect, and most people I know can find a million things they dislike about themselves. But how about finding the things that you do like! Maybe your house doesn’t look like it’s being featured in Better Homes and Gardens, maybe you don’t decorate like Martha Stewart, cook like a five-star chef, maybe you aren’t built like a Victoria’s Secret model, or you kids don’t look like they’ve stepped out of a Gap commercial. You know what? IT’S OKAY! Stop being so hard on yourself and start recognizing the good in who you are and what you do. Feeling good about yourself is the holy grail of feeling good and feeling healthy!

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